Jan 25, 2021

Remote working is here to stay – make it secure

by Niamh Burgess-Smith

The last 12 months have seen tremendous changes in how we work. Many companies were on the journey of digital transformation before COVID-19, but the pandemic has accelerated that journey, with some businesses having to move to remote working almost overnight. For many IT teams, it was a scramble to give people access to systems and enable video collaboration, so the business remained productive. It was seen as a short-term fix – to keep things going until life got back to normal.

Now, nearly a year later, one thing has become clear. There is no going back. Remote working is here to stay, having proven itself as a way of ensuring business resilience. Many businesses are now planning a major rethink of how and where employees work. In fact, the PWC’s survey from June 2020 reports that 52% of respondents were planning to make remote work a permanent option for the roles that allowed1. In parallel, the same number said they plan to improve the remote working experience.

 

It’s time to reassess and improve

 

This makes sense. So much of the remote working experience was created in a rush, under immense time pressure and with limited resources. It was not expected to be forever, now there is more clarity about where people will be working in the future and what is needed for this. Businesses are reassessing the entire working experience and looking to improve connectivity, access, and security. The adoption and development of security processes and standards has run alongside this with an uptake of compliance standards, such as, Cyber Essentials and ISO27000.

 

A focus on security

 

Pre-COVID, only 19% of organisations had more than half of their workforce working remotely, compared to 62% now2. The same survey revealed that 37% of European respondents experienced a jump of 25% or more in cyber threats or alerts once the pandemic started. Now that remote working is set to continue, it’s not surprising that cyber security remains high on the agenda, with over half of organisations in Europe indicating that they would be increasing their future investment in it.

 

Let’s look at what that investment needs to tackle. Secure access was named as the top cyber security challenge faced by the largest proportion of organisations at 57%, followed by data privacy, and maintaining control and enforcement policies. Endpoint security is also highlighted as critical, with nearly half of European businesses affected by threats caused by devices not secured to operate outside the corporate walls2.

 

Cisco Secure Remote Worker

It’s clear that companies need a joined-up, future-facing solution that’s designed for the realities of remote working. Employees need flexible access to applications, data and collaboration tools. Businesses need reality threat protection. This is why many organisations are choosing Cisco Secure Remote Worker to drive forward with hybrid working initiatives that encompass on-premises as well as remote working.

Cisco Secure Remote Worker is a simple, scalable, integrated security solution that enables the IT security team to keep workers protected on any device, wherever they choose to work – in the office, at home or on the move. With Secure Remote Worker, it’s simple to verify identities, provide safe access to company resources, and protect workers against threats like phishing and malware attacks. It keeps workers productive, while keeping the IT security team in control. As you’d expect from Cisco, the solution uses AI, machine learning and automation to provide user-friendly, zero-trust security, offering protection against today’s sophisticated threats and reducing administration.

There are three aspects to Secure Remote Worker that directly address key security concerns.

 

Verification made simple with Cisco Secure Access

Before you can grant access to corporate applications, you need to be sure of who’s asking for it. Cisco Secure Access by Duo lets you verify the identity of all users with easy multi-factor authentication and dynamic device trust to establish that a device meets security requirements.

 

Secure VPN Access to protect data

Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client enables organisations of any size to protect data at scale. It empowers remote workers with frictionless access to the corporate network 24/7 from anywhere, while protecting against attacks and breaches. At the same time, IT teams have visibility and control of which users and devices are accessing the network.

 

Defence again endpoint threats

With a growing number of dispersed endpoints, there are more ways into your network for cybercriminals to exploit. Cisco Secure Remote Worker provides a coordinated defence against threats. Cisco Secure Endpoint unifies user and endpoint security, with the SecureX platform built in to deliver integrated detection and response capabilities. Cisco Umbrella enhances cloud security, using the internet’s infrastructure to enforce security and block malicious activity before a connection is ever established. Alongside this, Cisco Cloud Mailbox Defence protects the Office 365 inboxes from account takeovers and malware infection.

 

Let Bechtle bring next-generation protection to your business

As you can see, there’s a lot to Cisco Secure Remote Worker. At Bechtle, we have deep experience in bringing this set of security solutions to organisations to ensure employees and devices are protected and productive – no matter where work takes them. We always focus on the best results for each customer, so we’ll work closely with you to ensure the solution is tailored to your specific requirements. If you have existing Cisco products, we’ll make sure you can leverage your existing investment. The advantage of Cisco Secure Remote Worker is that it’s scalable and flexible. So, no matter how and where people work in future, you’ll be able to keep users, devices and data protected.

 

To discover how Bechtle can support you in improving security with Cisco Secure Remote Worker, please contact Niamh Burgess-Smith: niamh.burgess-smith@bechtle.com

 


Sources

 

(1) https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/crisis-solutions/covid-19/global-cfo-pulse.html

(2) Future of Secure Remote Work report – Cisco September 2020 https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/future-secure-remote-work-report.html#download_report

Written by

Niamh Burgess-Smith
Business Solutions

E-Mail: niamh.burgess-smith@bechtle.com

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This post was published on Jan 25, 2021.